Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.Verse 27 is in the "Topical Memory System" from the Navigators, to say that death is a one-time thing and that judgment awaits afterward. But the author mentions this in passing, as though it were common knowledge; the real point is the promise in the next verse: that he will appear... to bring salvation.Hebrews 9.27-28
This is one of those things -- is it a paradox? I've heard that we need salvation from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, the presence of sin. Jesus paid the penalty for sin, so that those who belong to him are saved from it. It seems to take a lifetime to be freed from the power of sin, in what often seems like a "Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back" (to steal the title from Swindoll's book) kind of process. And the presence of sin -- well, we'll be stuck with that for a long time.
But to think that Jesus will come and save us from both the power and presence of sin -- now there's something to look forward to.
updated 2006-11-20, 2007-10-24